Ultimus: Process optimization

Chris Adams is back to talk to us about process optimization, both as a concept and in the context of the Ultimus tools available to assist with this. I’m a bit surprised with the tone/content of this presentation, in which Chris is explaining why you need to optimize processes; I would have thought that anyone who has bought a BPMS probably gets the need for process optimization.

The strategies that they support:

  • Classic: updating your process and republishing it without changing work in progress
  • Iterative: focused and more specific changes updating live process instances
  • Situational/temporary: managers changing the runtime logic (really, the thresholds applied using rules) in live processes, such as changing an approval threshold during a month-end volume increase
  • Round-trip optimization: comparing live data against modeling result sets in simulation

There’s a number of tools for optimizing and updating processes:

  • Ultimus Director, allowing a business manager to change the rules in active processes
  • Studio Client, the main process design environment, which allows for versioning each artifact of a process; it also allows changes to be published back to update work in progress
  • iBAM, providing visibility into work in progress; it’s a generic dashboarding tool that can also be used for visualization of other data sets, not just Ultimus BPM instance data

He finished up with some best practices:

  • Make small optimizations to the process and update often, particularly because Ultimus allows for the easy upgrade of existing process instances
  • Use Ultimus Director to get notifications of
  • Use Ultimus iBAM interactive dials to allow executives to make temporary changes to rule thresholds that impact process flow

There was a great question from the audience about the use of engineering systems methodology in process optimization, such as theory of constraints; I don’t think that most of the vendors are addressing this explicitly, although the ideas are creeping into some of the more sophisticated simulation product.

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